Cathy's Blog: Plastic Action
Plastic Action has really taken everyone, not just us in the AONB, by storm! Behind the scenes, for years, have been fantastic projects and campaigns building up ready to be able to step up, especially with the recent enormous media boost.
Fifteen years ago, when the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB began to coordinate the Beachwatch beach surveys and litter scheme, there were only about 100 volunteers helping. In 2017 – you can see the Beachwatch Suffolk results on our website – that number of volunteers is an amazing 806! Beachwatch is coordinated nationally by the Marine Conservation Society, whose surveying of beach litter leads directly to having the supporting data to target the government and public with campaigns, such as banning micro-beads in cosmetics and saying no to plastic straws. In fact, 2018 is the 25th anniversary of MCS Beachwatch. You can join in on the third weekend of September to help survey beach litter too.
The AONB has been working with the East Suffolk Greenprint Forum on #PlasticAction, including researching with local businesses how they can reduce use of plastics, from manufacture to it reaching the public, and encouraging reuse amongst staff and customers. #PlasticAction is also developing a training programme for new East Suffolk Plastic Champions. If you are interested in becoming a Champion, communicating good practice for reducing, reusing and recycling plastic in schools and with community groups please get in touch.
Another thing we are proud of, because they are NOT plastic, are our new Stour Valley Path footpath signs in the Dedham Vale. Made of sturdy oak the 24 fingerposts sign people around the popular Constable Country between Flatford and Cattawade or Manningtree, helping everyone enjoy their summer walking.
This article first seen in the East Anglian Daily Times, 4 August 2018.